Arsh Shah Dilbagi is a 16-year-old from India who may be revolutionizing the way people with disabilities communicate. He is one of 18 finalists in Google’s Global Science Fair for his proposal for Talk.
Talk is an augmentative and alternative communication device (AAC), which is used for people with disorders and disabilities that need assistance to speak. Dilbagi’s device is said to be both speedy and affordable.
“Statistics have shown that developmental disabilities are likely to be higher in areas of poverty, and available AAC devices costs thousands of dollars, making them out of reach of the most in need,” his proposal reads.
Talk works by deciphering breaths and translating them into Morse code. The code then gets translated into one of the device’s voice options. Dilbagi believes that the sheer simplicity of this proposal will make the device three times faster than other AAC devices. He is also planning to make it a much more affordable option.
According to The Mighty, other AACs reply on eye movement or muscles that still operate. Talk, on the other hand, simply needs the ability to breathe. It also translates the speech in real time.
“Talk will definitely make the world a better place to live for people with developmental disabilities and speech impairments by enabling them to communicate and express themselves like never before,” Dilbagi said.
The Global Science Fair is held for teams and individuals between the ages of 13 to 18. The winner, who will be announced later this month, will receive a $50,000 scholarship.
Learn more about Talk in this video.